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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

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European thought: namely, the great development of
history and of historical thinking. Not only did
history become a principal branch of study, but it
affected all other departments of mental activity. As an
English writer once said, in the nineteenth century
human thought in every field seemed to run to history;
and this was true for example of philosophy in Hegel
and of a great deal of Protestant theology. The move-
ment was one in which Germany held the intellectual
leadership. Furthermore, it is chiefly to Germany that
we owe the great advance which was achieved in the
development of a more scientific study of the past, the
evolution of a higher and more austere form of scholar-
ship ; all of which made it a much more serious matter
than it had ever been before to write about past events*
Partly because Germany was so large a country, she was
able to reach a higher degree of impartiality than^nost
other people. If she had some historians who were
inclined to support Prussia, for example, there would
be other historians in different parts of the country who
were opposed to Prussia; and somewhere or other in
Germany both sides of the question would be stated,
and the truth was more carefully tested as a result. In
the development of high and austere standards of
scholarship English students in particular set out to be
the disciples of the great German writers of history, so
producing what for a long time was a remarkable
intellectual alliance. Lord Acton once suggested that
this German historical movement in the nineteenth
century was a more fateful step in the story of European
thought than even the famous Italian Renaissance of the